Quite incredible progress, I'm sure you'll agree.
Of course in reality there is a big difference between a RTR 16.5mm turnout and a hand built 18mm gauge one, although I still think that the Tillig track has much to recommend it. All the same if I have a regret now it is that I didn't build Apa in EM.
However, I did build Apa, and it is more or less finished and time to mover on to the next project. With careful choice of camera angle and some post processing I'm quite pleased with how Apa turned out.
A lot was about observation and layers of seeing. There are elements of the overall mix that make up a convincing layout that perhaps I hadn't realised were important before, perhaps because I hadn't consciously observed them when looking at the real world. I'm amazed how I can still find things in photos of the TVR that are blindingly obvious once you've noticed them.
One result of this is that I'm much more aware of track work, point rodding signal cables and other things of that ilk. In the past I've know they were there, but only in a vague sense that they were part of the picture.
Colour is something else I think I understand a little better than I did before but I still struggle to produce the colours I want first time around, as evidenced by the multiple repaints of the goods yard and the stone bridge. One major investment I'm making this year, to benefit my photography as well as my modelling, is to shift to the consistent use of 6500k lighting in the study.
Looking Forward to 2014
I've also got a much better idea of the skills I need to develop before building a proper layout, which helps set the agenda for the next intermediate project that I'm planning for the next eighteen months or so.
Top of that list is to shift the emphasis towards track and a few key items of rolling stock. the scenics can sort of take care of themselves although I do want to build new versions of all the buildings.